Monday, June 04, 2007

Psalm 27:8

"When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; My heart said unto thee, Thy face, Jehovah, will I seek." (ASV)

How many of us are truly, completely obedient to God? It is a hard thing to achieve. David had the idea when he penned this verse. When God tells us to do something, we should not complain, whine, or put it off. We should simply do it. And we should put our hearts into it. The best example of this type of obedience can be seen in the end of Jesus' earthly life: "and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:8 ASV)

Obedience to God is something that even the great figures of the Bible have struggled with. It's difficult for us to put aside our own wishes and desires to do God's bidding when we don't know what the outcome may be. It requires a lot of trust to just let go of all of our uncertainties and remember that God knows the outcome, and has a good reason for asking us to do whatever it may be He wants from us.

Unlike human authority figures, God will not force us to obey in most cases. If we refuse, He will allow us to do so. But refusal to play our parts in His plan for us can have horrible effects. At the very least we miss out on all that God has in store for our lives, and that is a grave circumstance to be sure. At times, disobedience to God's will for us may mean we will have to deal with painful consequences of our actions.

One of the reasons that God doesn't make us do it His way, "or else..." is that He doesn't want us to follow him out of fear or obligation. He wants us to follow His ways out of love. When Jesus was asked which is the most important commandment, "And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (Matthew 22:37 ASV) When we love God the way Jesus describes it here, we strive to obey. We want nothing more than for Him to look upon us and be pleased with what He sees. We are His willing servants because we desire His glory above our own.

Still, even the most willing servant can have difficulty discerning what God's call for their life may be. That is why we need to study the word of God, so that we can know Him better. We can also become closer to God through other spiritual disciplines such as prayer, fasting and meditation. In these ways we can grow closer to God, and eventually learn to hear His still, small voice.

So when you hear the call of God, when the Holy Spirit tugs on your heart, when God instructs you in what to do, what will your answer be? Will you miss it altogether? Will you ignore Him? Will you obey grudgingly? Or will you give yourself over to God's instruction, wholeheartedly and without regret?

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